TubeMogul Launches PlaySafe Ad Verification Tool To Detect Fake Pre-roll Video Ads, Boosting Brand Safety

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Top DSP for brands to run PlaySafe on every pre-roll campaign, distinguishing between pre-roll and “simulated pre-roll” ad units.

“Verification technologies like this are reassuring," said Paul Kontonis, VP of Brand Content at Digitas.

TubeMogul, a brand-focused demand side platform, announced the release of a new ad verification feature ensuring that media buyers can differentiate between legitimate pre-roll video ads and imitation pre-roll ads which auto-play on web pages where the viewer did not intend to watch a video.

A legitimate pre-roll video ad is 15 or 30 seconds in length and loads before the video content that a viewer has chosen to watch. In this way the pre-roll ad is similar to traditional TV commercial spots and is popular for advertisers and widely viewed as being effective.

In a recent exercise, TubeMogul ran test pre-roll video ads on 7,000 web sites. The company uncovered more than 400 sites delivering fake pre-roll, totaling over three million potential impressions per day. This included pre-rolls auto-playing within small and below-the-fold video players as well as within banner ad spaces. In both of these cases the viewer had no intention to watch the video, they simply loaded a homepage. Not surprisingly, click-through rates on the fake pre-roll units were 0.05%, far lower than legitimate pre-roll ads, and a majority of all impressions ran below the fold.

“Upon discovering the rampant spread of fake pre-roll we decided to act,” said Brett Wilson, CEO of TubeMogul. “TubeMogul is about delivering a better brand experience and PlaySafe ensures brand advertisers they are getting what they are buying.”

Advertisers are also beginning to understand there is a difference true pre-roll ad units and simulated or fake units. “Pre-roll fraud is much more commonplace than people think, and preventing it is often like playing whack-a-mole. It’s disconcerting,” says Paul Kontonis, VP and Group Director for Brand Content at Digitas. “Verification technologies like this are reassuring.”

PlaySafe leverages TubeMogul’s leading analytics platform to detect ad unit and video player size and other attributes to determine whether the unit is true or fake pre-roll. If fake pre-roll is detected TubeMogul automatically shifts budgets in real-time to legitimate sites where the brand ad is having the biggest impact. PlaySafe determines whether the unit is true pre-roll or auto-play and matches eligible buys accordingly.

Upcoming versions of PlaySafe will include additional tools for verification and brand safety.

About TubeMogul
TubeMogul is the only video marketing company built for branding. By integrating real-time media buying, ad serving, targeting, optimization and brand measurement into its PlayTime platform, TubeMogul simplifies the delivery of video ads and maximizes the impact of every dollar spent by brand marketers.

The company only partners with premium and transparent inventory sources – including direct publishers and private networks – to deliver video to any audience, in any format, on any device. Advertisers only pay when someone chooses to watch their video and they see exactly which sites their ads ran on, how their ads performed and who watched them. Using PlayTime for video advertising means never having to choose engagement and impact over reach.

Beyond advertising, brand marketers can use TubeMogul’s OneLoad video distribution to seed their content on multiple sites and the company’s InPlay video analytics to measure and compare the performance of their owned, paid and earned video media.

Founded in 2006, TubeMogul is based in Emeryville, CA, with offices in New York, London, Chicago and Los Angeles.

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David Burch
TubeMogul, Inc.
(510) 653-0501
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